Introduction: Self-rated health (SRH) is a commonly used indicator of health status. It has been identified as a determinant of health-promoting behaviors and a predictor of morbidity and mortality. However, little is known about the association between SRH and ideal cardiovascular health (CVH) as measured by the American Heart Association Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) criteria. We examined whether SRH was associated with ideal CVH, for the overall cohort and by sex and race/ethnicity.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 6457 men and women of 4 race/ethnicities, aged 45 to 84 years, who participated in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. SRH was measured on a 5-point Likert scale (excellent, very good, good, fair and poor). CVH was determined using the LS7 score with each of the 7 metrics scored from 0-2, and a total score ranging from 0-14. Scores of 0-8 indicate an inadequate score, 9-10, average and 11-14, optimal. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for the associations between SRH and LS7 score categories using multinomial logistic regression, adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, marital status, health insurance status and chronic diseases
Results: The mean age (SD) of participants was 62 (10) years; 53% were women. Approximately, 16% of participants rated their health as excellent, 33% very good, 41% good and 9% poor-fair. In this population, 47% had inadequate LS7 scores, 33%, average and 20% optimal. The odds of having a higher LS7 score increased as SRH improved. Using participants who rated their health as poor-fair as the reference group, the adjusted OR for having an optimal LS7 score in the overall cohort was: excellent 3.0 (2.1-4.3); very good 1.6 (1.1-2.1); good 1.2 (0.9-1.7). A similar trend was observed in the stratified analyses by sex and race/ethnicity (Table)
Conclusion: A more favorable SRH was associated with better CVH irrespective of sex or race/ethnicity. Further research could explore whether optimization of SRH predicts cardiovascular outcomes.